Every relationship goes through rough patches, but how do you know if your issues are normal ups and downs, or whether they points to more serious underlying problems?
Here are seven ways to tell if your relationship is healthy.
7 important indicators of a healthy relationship
1. You fight fair
Even at your most irritated or angry, you speak to each other with respect, and don’t resort to belittling each other during arguments. Disagreements are part and parcel of a healthy relationship; verbal abuse is not. If your fights descend into name-calling and hurtful words, it’s time to take a step back and re-assess.
2. You actually like each other – just as you are
Apart from chemistry, the two of you have a great time together outside of the bedroom too. Plus, you aren’t trying to change each other. You accept each other warts and all, just as you are now, recognising that neither of you is perfect, but you’re both giving it your best shot.
NB: If you notice any actual warts on each other, or on yourself, please get them checked out ASAP! You can get quick, confidential HIV and STI screening at any Marie Stopes centre.
3. You trust each other
When you aren’t together, your mind doesn’t go crazy worrying about what your partner is up to. You don’t spy on each other or invade each other’s privacy, and you certainly don’t snoop on each other’s phones and computers. It’s not possible to have a healthy relationship without trust, so if this element is missing, it’s a huge indicator that your relationship is in trouble.
4. You have regular sex
In most long-term relationships, sex waxes and wanes, but it’s important that you continue to connect physically in a way, and with a regularity, that satisfies both of you. Sex is a crucial part of most long-term unions and an important part of helping to sustain them.
5. You’ve maintained your individual identities within the relationship
While you value spending time together and sharing some common interests, you’re both still individuals with unique wants and needs. And, while a successful relationship requires that you share certain goals, it’s still vital to maintain your individuality, rather than completely give up your autonomy and opinions.
6. Your relationship is your safe space
When you’ve had a bad day, or you’re feeling stressed, anxious, sad or in need of comfort, it’s your partner you turn to. You know that you can always trust that your partner will be there to listen and offer support, and you’d rather rely on them than on friends or colleagues at the bar after work.
7. Your relationship is enough for you
In every relationship, it’s not about who is right or wrong, or whether certain behaviours are right or wrong, but rather about whether the relationship gives you what you need to be happy, secure and fulfilled. Usually, your gut feelings are a very good indicator of this, so if you’ve been ignoring a gnawing feeling of discomfort, it’s time to pay attention to it.
Contraceptives, STI screening & more at Marie Stopes
Even people in the healthiest relationships need sexual healthcare services from time to time. Whether it’s your annual women’s wellness check-up, contraceptive advice or abortion care, we can help.